"Glitch" caused checkbox to default to enabled in Windows 7/8/8.1 causing some to be given an unexpected gift of Windows 10

In perhaps its most self-beneficial and humorous "gitch" since it "accidentally" stopped offering European users their choice of browser with Windows 7 sales in Europe, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has announced that another programming "mistake" resulted in some unwitting Windows 7 and 8.1 users automatically receiving the Windows 10 upate.


Windows 10, of course, launched on July 29 worldwide as a free upgrade for anyone with a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 license. The purported mistake led to Windows 7/8/8.1 customers receiving this month a Windows Update that automatically checked the Windows 10 upgrade lurking in the "optional" upgrades section.

To uncheck users would need to explore their optional updates and specifically uncheck that package from being downloaded.  Those who didn't may have found themselves in a strange and unexpected situation as suddenly even those who specifically declined to download the Windows 10 upgrade found their machine preparing to install it.

Windows 10 update
The upgrade option was automatically checked by a recent Windows Update to Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. [Image Source: Ars Technica] (click to enlarge)

Of course, the only definitive result was that the update was received and readied for installation.  Windows 10 requires a certain level of human invertention during installation so it was relatively straightforward for tech savvy users who found themselves unwittingly enrolled in the upgrade to bail on it.  However, as Ars Technica's Peter Bright (who was among the first media sources to note the issue) and other sources note, less tech savvy users might believe that the upgrade to Windows 10 was mandatory and just click on through it.

Microsoft apologizes for that, and for potentially misleading some customers.  It writes:

As part of our effort to bring Windows 10 to existing genuine Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers, the Windows 10 upgrade may appear as an optional update in the Windows Update (WU) control panel. This is an intuitive and trusted place people go to find Recommended and Optional updates to Windows. In the recent Windows update, this option was checked as default; this was a mistake and we are removing the check.

It is unclear exactly how many customers indeed clicked through and unwittingly installed. It's probable that given that some customers put off Updates, that not all even received the unwanted change.  Others may have caught it and corrected in time.  And yet others still may have simply regarded it as a gentle prod to do an upgrade they were considering committing to for some time.

Still, a followup "fix" from Microsoft has been delivered via Windows Update to undo this accidental download  The fix simply unchecks the optional upgrade, leaving the user to seek it out (not the other way around).

Whew... close call.

(Ed.- But you should consider Windows 10... in spite of its flaws, I would argue it's worth it!)

Source: Ars Technica

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